Murray hosts public forum comment for downtown progress
Murray Main Street officials describe 2014 as a year of challenge, that’s because the city’s main square has suffered many disasters.
A building collapse on 4th street and a fire at a local business on South 5th street left the city’s downtown square has two gaping corners. What’s even more, a business sustained a partial roof collapse on South 4th Street.
Murray city leaders know how important it is to renovate the square and its century-old buildings, but need to first set a clear direction. On Thursday, Murray Main Street hosted a town hall meeting to field and note public input. They tell Local 6 public opinion is the first point of business before they make any big changes to the square.
More people than anticipated attended the public forum, almost 100 people, and it seemed as though everyone was excited to begin the next phase to renovate downtown Murray. Murray Main Street sent out surveys to help narrow down the topics discussed in the meeting. Some of the questions asked: What kind of downtown do you want? Who should be involved in renovating downtown? Why do you come to downtown now?
Everyone from city officials, politicians, business owners, property owners, Murray State representatives were all at the forum. Including people like Joy Thomas. She says Murray is the epitome of Small-Town America. She says there’s just something about it, “It’s a great town; I always call Murray ‘Murray the Magnet'”
Thomas knew voicing her opinions and thoughts on Murray’s future was a no-brainier, “These buildings are falling down we’ve had fires we’ve had some major events happen .”
These are the voices Murray Main Street Program Director, Deana Wright wants to hear, “They live they support and they were in our downtown.” But she says progress and development on Murray’s downtown square will be far in the future, “We won’t see improvements in the first year but we will see steps towards improvement.” Wright says there’s no real timeline for how or when to repair downtown Murray, but the public forum meetings are the first step to figure out what they’d like Murray to renovate to.
Wright hopes to abide by their hope of 2015 being a new year of opportunity for the city square. She says, “We have potential and we’re going to work off the potential.”